Libertarian Health Care Reform
By Arnold Kling
I believe that the state’s grant of monopoly privelege to certain official certifying agencies has a lot do do with the high cost of health care. Besides creating artificial scarcity (and therefore huge rents for M.D.s), the certification cartel violates our natural liberty to cooperate. The more I think about this, the more it ticks me off. You don’t need a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering to change a muffler any more than you need a M.D. to set a broken arm. You just need to know how to change a muffler or how to set a broken arm.
He also has a free-market alternative to my idea for a commission to evaluate costs and benefits of medical protocols. Instead, Wilkinson says we should use idea futures markets as
A source of free, highly reliable information about the most effective treatements. If you want to know if a treatment A, which costs half as much, works as well as treatment B, check the ideas markets.
I’m not sure about this one. In normal futures markets, you know the expiration date of a contract, and everyone knows what happens at the expiration date–you have to deliver corn, or you settle the S&P futures market based on stock prices at the market close, or what have you. How would you settle an idea futures market in the cost-effectiveness of health care protocols? Would you not need something like my commission?
Lots of other ideas to chew on at Will’s post. Read the whole thing.